We know, we know. The last thing you want to do in winter is nibble on lettuce leaves, dressing on the side. Rest assured that here at Food52, we'll never subject you to such culinary blasphemy, regardless of the season.
But as much as you want to spend a few months curled under a blanket eating something a) warm b) cheesy c) carbohydrate-laden or d) all of the above, it's a shame to miss out on this season's perfect vegetables (not to mention, all of your necessary nutrients). What makes these salads so ingenious is that they're raw, or nearly so, without being frigid. Serve them up as a light lunch or a side dish at dinner -- you'll be pleased to find that each bite is intensely flavorful. All brought to you by the spirited home cooks' community at Food52.
- Try pairing with soup for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
- Check out our best root vegetable sides for more ideas on how to use in-season vegetables.
- Got a kitchen question? Hit up the Food52 Hotline.
This salad is ideal for making ahead for company (or tomorrow's lunch) and has been a mainstay on the menu at Northern Spy Food Co. in Manhattan's East Village since they opened in 2009. The kabocha is traded out with the seasons for things like fresh apricots, kohlrabi or patty pan squash -- slices of apple or persimmon are also good when you don't feel like waiting for the squash to roast. Unless you wind up with especially burly kale, there's no need to massage the dressing into this salad, unlike others with raw kale. - Genius Recipes Get the recipe Photo: James Ransom
The waiter delivered a plate covered with a tangle of crisp vegetable shavings, all slicked with a thin, pungent bagna cauda dressing. At home, I improvised with a group of vegetables that are available in most grocery stores -- by no means should you feel like you have to use all the vegetables in the following recipe; just try for four of them so there's enough variety, and adjust the amounts accordingly. The salad holds up well, which is important for a packed lunch. But I may just serve this at my next dinner party. - Amanda Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
A smart play on Spanish patatas bravas -- fried potatoes with a garlic mayonnaise. Instead of frying the potatoes MySocialChef has you roast them, and rather than making your own homemade mayonnaise, you sharpen storebought mayonnaise with lemon juice, Dijon mustard and a whole lot of garlic. You'll breathe fire for days but the suffering you inflict on others is worth it! - Amanda & Merrill Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
Isn't it time to take a break from roasted beets with goat cheese? I thought so. This past weekend, I tossed beets, still warm, with sherry vinegar, Dijon and olive oil. The vinegar makes their sweetness sing; the mustard gives them grit. And a spray of chopped herbs -- basil, tarragon, chives and mint -- beckons the doubters. Get the recipe. Photo: Sarah Shatz
A hidden advantage of this salad is that it gets better with a little time to sit and relax. If you make it ahead, proceed through step 1 and let it sit for up to 30 minutes, then finish it up -- and feel both organized and virtuous. - Amanda Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
As Cordeliah notes, this salad is all about tang and fragrance. It's one of those dishes that really wakes up your tongue: the garlic keeps on giving (in the best possible way); the harissa lends both sweetness and heat (you can control the latter by choosing a milder or more spicy harissa); and the perfume of the preserved lemon lingers after each bite. We love the plump little rounds of carrot, which grab onto just the right amount of dressing. And yes, it is even better the next day. - Amanda & Merrill Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
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